Federal officials are helping 5 states educate residents about the importance of taking responsibility for their own long-term care.[@@]

Organizers will be mailing an educational kit, “Own Your Future,” to about 3 million people between the ages of 50 and 70 in Arkansas, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey and Virginia.

The government started the program to help state officials cope with the effects of the aging of the baby boomers on limited health care resources, according to Hunter McKay, a social science analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human

Services. States are concerned that boomers’ future LTC demands “have the potential to overwhelm Medicaid,” McKay said here today at a seminar organized by MetLife Inc., New York.

The campaign educational kit includes an audio presentation on compact disc. The CD covers topics such as when it makes sense to buy long term care insurance, using community resources for help with personal activities and modifying a residence to facilitate home care.

The kit also explains to boomers and older Americans that they “are responsible for their own long term care, whether they know it or not, whether they like it or not,” McKay says.

HHS worked with the National Governors Association, Washington, and the National Conference of State Legislatures, Denver, to develop the program, which was authorized by the Clinton administration but never set in motion until now. HHS is launching the program in just 5 states because of funding limitations, McKay says.